Understanding Anxiety

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Understanding Anxiety

Understanding Anxiety

You have probably heard during the pandemic that “we are in unprecedented times” albeit overused it is a true statement. This reminder that there is no roadmap or charted course for this era fans the flames of anxiety. “Anxiety is a general emotional state of uneasiness or distress associated with worry or apprehension about future uncertainties” (Nevid, 2012, p.427).  Fear is another way of describing this emotion. There is no actual way of predicting the future, the next hour or the next day, however anxiety could suggest that it is possible. Anxious thoughts can wreak havoc on the mind, causing an individual to experience a wave of thoughts and emotions all at once. For example, an upcoming surgery could cause an individual to experience an uneasy feeling that the surgery may not go as desired. The unknown outcome can lead to fears that cause unnecessary distress at the time.

Anxiety does not have age restrictions. For example, anxiety about separation represents a normal aspect of development that is experienced by many young children (Evans, et al, 2005). Sending a child to pre-k gives her anxiety, and the thought of being separated from a parent leads her to behave abnormally in school. Although, her feelings and desires to stay home are being conditioned, she has still suffered from worry.

Anxiety disorders are among the most experienced psychological disorders among adults (Nevid, 2012, p.427). The five major types of anxiety disorders are phobias, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Each disorder provides a different occurrence that enables extreme distress, shortness of breath, repetitive acts and increased arousal (Evans, et al, 2005). Although all people experience anxiety, a disorder is not developed by everyone.

Treatment for anxiety disorders can be complex. The overall symptoms and severity can be treated with therapy and/or pharmaceuticals prescribed by a physician. At iCan Dream Center, we use our unique insight about the population and clinical expertise to provide counseling services for students, and their family members, who are impacted by disabilities.   


Nevid, (2012). Essentials of psychology. Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

Evans, D. L., Foa, E. B., Gur, R. E., Hendin, H., O’Brien, C. P., Seligman, M. E. P., & Walsh, B. T., (2005). Treating and preventing adolescent mental health disorders. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.